Thursday, January 21, 2010

ATC strike

Yesterday there was widespread travel disruption as Irish air traffic controllers went on strike. Over 100 flights were canceled because of the four hour disruption and many more were delayed as a knock on effect. The usual suspects came out demanding heads on pikes and Ronald Reagan type action to fire all of the strikers, the unions were just as belligerent in their interviews with the media and the government arriving on the scene far too late to be of any help.

It appears that the dispute came about because of the introduction of new technology in the air traffic control centre and the union demands for a pay increase. The dispute had been referred to the labour court for judgment but before the hearing it appears that the IAA suspended 14 members of the union causing all the others to walk off the job for a four hour meeting.

Now in a time when man people are losing their jobs it is hard to feel sympathy for people on six figure salaries who are looking for a pay increase. Sure the job is stressful but they are financially well looked after and I'm sure that many others would be more than willing to take on the role. On the other hand, the heavy handedness of the IAA in suspending staff without waiting for the outcome of a process that both sides agreed to cannot be condoned either.

All this disruption has managed to do is blot our reputation abroad, cost the economy money and inconvenience thousands of passengers. Oh, and give Michael O'Leary even more air time to pontificate in his terribly obnoxious manner. All in all, a pretty bad day for Ireland Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment